Weight Loss Support - Movie Theater Snacks




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LovesToTravel
08-12-2013, 10:25 PM
Yesterday was my husband's birthday so we celebrated with a dinner of his choice and a movie. We only go to the movie theater a couple of times a year so it's a pretty special treat, but I was uncertain about how to handle the snacks. I looooove movie popcorn (sans fake butter- it makes me sick) and soda. I inevitably waddle out of the theater feeling bloated and guilty from snacking too hard, but I didn't want to forgo it altogether- I've learned in the past that being too restrictive leads me to feeling frustrated and rebellious about my food choices later down the road.

So last night I chose a small popcorn, brought a bottle of water, and took a couple of sips from my husband's soda. I felt like it was a compromise I could live with and for once I left the movies feeling good. There was one sad moment when my hand reached the bottom of the empty popcorn bag and I went :( , but it passed quickly and I was very happy with my decision.

When you see a movie, do you guys typically opt to indulge as much as you want, go for moderation, or is it better to just avoid the snacks altogether? Or maybe you never go to the movies and this awful dilemma doesn't occur for you? :lol: Just curious.


nelie
08-12-2013, 10:31 PM
I personally don't like eating when I'm in the movie theater. I also think that eating while watching a movie in the dark is probably the epitome of mindless eating.

I don't know the answer for someone who links movie theaters and popcorn or eating in general. You could try not eating popcorn once and see how that works?

Tuscany
08-12-2013, 10:41 PM
It's been a VERY long time since I went to a movie, but if I were to go again in the future, I think I would make the same choice as you did. That sounds like a sensible compromise.

That said, I wouldn't sneak a drink of the soda. I used to drink a LOT soda, but I quit that about 5 months ago when I started my diet, and now I absolutely detest the taste of soda.


Cattails
08-12-2013, 11:13 PM
I love going to the movie theater, and I love the popcorn too! I try to limit myself somewhat on the popcorn, and I often bring with me a package of dried edamame or lentils or dehydrated veggies to give me something else to munch.

You said your choices made you feel satisfied and happy with yourself instead of bloated and guilty, so well done! Every little thing counts. :)

2annabelle
08-12-2013, 11:16 PM
Almost 3 years ago, at the tender age of 46 (!) I got braces on my top and bottom teeth....and when I went to the movies I couldn't eat popcorn (or licorice, or milk duds or anything I really wanted!)....braces are still on the bottom for 2 very stubborn teeth, but I can eat popcorn again (it doesn't look pretty when it's stuck in the bottom braces but I don't care!) I used to equate movies=popcorn, but I don't any more. Maybe what you need to do is try a movie without popcorn, and see how it goes. Think of the savings too! Movie snacks are SO expensive...maybe set aside the money you would have spent on popcorn and save it for something you REALLY want!

freelancemomma
08-12-2013, 11:23 PM
When you see a movie, do you guys typically opt to indulge as much as you want, go for moderation, or is it better to just avoid the snacks altogether?

I always get a large popcorn (without butter). The movie experience just isn't the same (for me) without it! I compensate by not having dinner that day. The popcorn IS my dinner. Works for me.

F.

Chronostasis
08-12-2013, 11:26 PM
My large family nearly always gets a giant popcorn to share when we go to the movies. Popcorn is not something I can very well control myself with (air-popped, movie, kettle - any kind really, as long as it's not too salty), but I absolutely love it and it's one of the few naturally gluten-free treats I have left, so I still allow myself to have it occasionally. Last time we went to the theater I hadn't done so well with my calories earlier in the day so I made an agreement with myself that I wouldn't eat any before or during the movie but if I still wanted some of the cold, salty bottom-of-the-barrel popcorn I could have up to 3 handfuls after the movie. [I also took my empty 1-liter water bottle with me and filled it at the water fountain before going into the movie, which the ticket checkers had no problem with.] Well, I did still want some popcorn after the movie so I took just 2 handfuls of the leftovers before we drove home. On the car ride home I felt horribly sick and had an awful headache, which I attributed to the popcorn (I know the fake butter doesn't agree with me either.)
Next time I think I will just skip it entirely.

freelancemomma - I have had popcorn for dinner before, many times! Not at the movie theater, but sometimes when I really want some kettle corn or even homemade airpopped popcorn, I eat a ton of that instead of dinner.

belovedspirit
08-12-2013, 11:50 PM
Would it 'take away' from the experience if you brought your own snack?

If buying a snack is the only way to go, without changing your movie experience, then a small popcorn is probably the way to go. I'm not wildly familiar with theater fare, but I can't imagine movie theaters selling snacks that are much healthier than that.

CanadianCutie
08-13-2013, 12:18 AM
Hubby and I go to the movies about once a month on average (sometimes more sometimes less), in fact we just went to fan favorite screening of Serenity tonight. We never get any snacks at the movies. We smuggle in water (no way am I paying $4 for a bottle or a soda), and I'll often get a coffee to sip through the movie. We usually hit the food court for Asian food (healthy options) for lunch or dinner, so we're full by movie time.

HungryHungryHippo
08-13-2013, 02:07 AM
I think you did totally right! There's sometimes when I'm feeling hardcore, when I do 120 calories of microwaved popcorn, and before, when I was doing a different plan (also of my own making), I would just do fat-free Twizzlers, but that sounds like a very good, modest choice!

GermanShepherdGirl
08-13-2013, 02:51 AM
I'm not a fan of eating at the cinema either, but I will go for the diet soft drink treat.

KillerBee
08-13-2013, 02:54 AM
I think its fine to indulge in a few movie sweets on occasion. But typically I like to bring my own snacks into a movie (shhhh :D). Something sweet like fruit that I can cut up in a bag and cover my entertainment cravings. It might sound silly, but its healthy, it covers both food and hydration, and takes care of the sweet tooth. Win Win Win :carrot:

But if none of that fits your forte you could always try something else like bars or nuts of some kind. Same idea.

FatSass
08-13-2013, 04:26 AM
I usually have a small popcorn and ask them to fill it about 3/4ths of the way, so I can justify sprinkling on a bit of powdered cheese flavoring.

sontaikle
08-13-2013, 04:51 AM
It's more price than anything for me now. I just bring my own munchies to the movies because I can't justify spending so much money on popcorn.

Last time I brought Edamame and diet soda. It worked out well :)

MauiKai
08-13-2013, 08:08 AM
No movie snacks, ever. It's all gross, over processed and worst of all...how many hands are in that popcorn? I've watched the workers, they all dig in the bin to fill the little paper containers and the popcorn touches their skin frequently. I guess I just don't like the idea of eating something that is so contaminated. Especially since it's usually teens working at movie theaters, and they aren't known for stellar hygiene.

tricon7
08-13-2013, 09:55 AM
While I'm hardcore dieting to lose, I can't make exceptions unless it comes out of my daily calorie allotment. If I were on maintenance, it would be different, of course. I'll cut my calories during the day to make up for a sweet treat at the movie, and also go a little above maintenance calories for the day in order to have something really yummy (like some M&Ms or my favorite, Jordan Almonds). I only go to the movies every few months, so it's not something I have to be concerned about as long as I plan it ahead of time.

Creativian
08-13-2013, 10:04 AM
I've not one for snacking at the movies--possibly because they have that yuck-o "golden topping" stuff instead of real butter--but snacking in front of the TV was a real problem until recently. It had gotten to the point where I associated chocolate with certain well-loved TV shows. I've managed to break this habit by drinking herbal tea, or club soda with lemon, whenever I get the urge to snack while in front of the TV.

I think you found a fine solution for yourself, LovesToTravel. A small bag of popcorn a couple of times a year is not going to hurt you.

Daki
08-13-2013, 10:05 AM
We go to the movies often enough that I refuse to treat myself to a whole popcorn every time. What I've started doing is I'll bring in a giant bottle of water (Wooo, big purse), have like two handfuls (what is that, like 10 kernels? lol) of his popcorn and then snack on roasted pumpkin seeds and/or some almonds. Typically I wind up getting engrossed in the movie and stop eating after the first 15-20 minutes so while the calories COULD get out of hand with my snacks, they don't because I'm not eating them for very long.

pnkrckpixikat
08-13-2013, 10:29 AM
I used to LOVE movie theatre popcorn (with the fake butter) but when I started dieting I stopped allowing myself to get it except once in a very blue moon. Often I get nothing, sometimes I will get a dt soda.

I found that after not getting the popcorn for quite awhile it started to smell disgusting instead of delicious and that just further helps me not give in.

I do have an air popper so I sometimes make my own at home as a treat, with real butter!

Suzanne 3FC
08-13-2013, 10:40 AM
In my entire life, I think I've eaten at the cinema just one time. I agree that it's mindless eating, and it doesn't add anything to the experience. I don't eat when I watch movies at home, either.

I think it might be a habit that starts in childhood, and then it becomes expected as part of the experience. We never bought snacks at the theater when I was a child because it was hard enough to afford movie tickets. I refuse to buy snacks for my granddaughter when we go to the movies, no matter how much she begs. However, I bring bottled water for each of us. Thirst matters :)

Suzanne 3FC
08-13-2013, 10:40 AM
I guess I just don't like the idea of eating something that is so contaminated. Especially since it's usually teens working at movie theaters, and they aren't known for stellar hygiene.

I used to know someone that worked in the concessions at a local theater and she said they pulled out a bag of popcorn once that was filled with maggots. The manager said to pop it anyway :barf:

Munchy
08-13-2013, 11:37 AM
I don't ever remember eating at movie theaters, and I can go 1-2 hours without food without a problem.

My daughter ALWAYS wants a snack at the movies, though, so the very occasional (2x/yr) times that we go, I pop popcorn at home and bring a juice box and fruit snacks for her. When I was in high school and dates would want to bring me to the movies, I'd usually buy a black coffee or something when I got there.

shutterbugmama84
08-13-2013, 11:40 AM
I'm not going to lie, I get a large popcorn when I go. Popcorn is pretty much my favourite food ever and for me it's part of the movie theatre experience. I just make sure I keep my calories really low the rest of the day.

ChickieBoom
08-13-2013, 11:50 AM
I stopped eating in the movie theater last year but to be fair, I was never a popcorn person. I was more a candy person. But I really try not to make everything about the food. I go to the movies to watch the movie, not to eat.

sontaikle
08-13-2013, 12:05 PM
I didn't add this to my last post:

Anyone ever sneak in meals? I've been doing that on occasion. A couple of weeks ago I snuck in a salad because I was heading to the movies when I would usually get hungry :lol: Other times I've snuck in wraps.

I remember when my ex was so sure I couldn't sneak in two 6" subs and sodas. I did it! He was very impressed and happy to have Subway instead of popcorn :]

Munchy
08-13-2013, 12:12 PM
I once sneaked in a 1.5 liter bottle of wine AND two wine glasses. :devil:

kelijpa
08-13-2013, 01:06 PM
A lot of theaters have a kids meal, a liitle popcorn, soda and some type of kid candy, toss the candy, although after reading some of these posts, I may be skipping the "handled" popcorn altogether. Mixed nuts or almonds work good for me, something crunchy, I hate to pay more for drinks and snacks than getting into the movie...

Sounds like you made a good choice for you, that's what counts, I find I eat more leading up to the movie, so probably getting there a bit later and not sitting through all those previews would be better for me.

Thanks :sunny:

BleuMaus
08-13-2013, 01:34 PM
Heres the great thing about being a woman, gigantic purses!!!

I air pop some popcorn before I go to the movies and have NO guilt afterwards. :)

MedChick87
08-13-2013, 04:04 PM
The only thing I have to have at the movies is a diet coke. I do enjoy movie theater popcorn now and again, but my bf and I go to the movies often enough that getting it every time just isn't realistic to my diet. Plus, it's very rare that it actually TASTES good. Usually, it's either cold, stale, flavorless, or all 3. I find I'm more often disappointed with the popcorn than enjoying it, so I'm less motivated to buy it (especially with those outrageous prices).

pnkrckpixikat
08-13-2013, 08:36 PM
we've snuck subway in a few times when the show we wanted to see was at dinner time

LovesToTravel
08-13-2013, 09:11 PM
Thanks so much for all of your ideas and suggestions!

MauiKai and Suzanne_3FC, you have succeeded in making the popcorn look A LOT less tempting in the future for me, oh my. My husband and I pretty much stopped eating out about a month ago when we went to one of our "regular" places and a friend found a fly in her chimichanga- deep fried right smack in the center of the burrito, ugh. :barf: The maggot story is worse though, wow.

I know it's not a big deal if you don't go to the movies very often, but it seems like all of these special little occasions add up over the year and I'm trying to be more thoughtful about the options. I aim to be a bit Buddhist about it and find the "middle way", so to speak.

I definitely eat dinner before going, but I had never thought about sneaking it in, love it! And the wine is brilliant, Munchy. :D I don't mind a little mindless snacking on occasion, but I'm going to try some different things in the future that you all suggested- bring snacks, no snacks, just a water, maybe a sandwich. ;) That's fantastic.

Couch
08-16-2013, 12:49 AM
My local cinema serves wine:) So I have a glass of something, and I knit. Much better for me than the giant box of Malteasers I used to eat, and I can get quite a lot of sock knitted during a movie.

Creativian
08-16-2013, 09:10 AM
I am currently attempting to knit Austrian twisted stitch cable socks, which I have ripped back about 20 times. I shudder to think what I'd find after emerging into the light if I attempted to knit any of that sock in a dark movie theatre.

I used to know someone that worked in the concessions at a local theater and she said they pulled out a bag of popcorn once that was filled with maggots. The manager said to pop it anyway :barf:

Ugh. I hope somebody reported him to the health board.

Anyone ever sneak in meals? I've been doing that on occasion. A couple of weeks ago I snuck in a salad because I was heading to the movies when I would usually get hungry :lol: Other times I've snuck in wraps.

I've never snuck in meals, but I'll sneak in bottles of water because there's no water fountain in the theatre and the price at the concession stand is ursury.

LovesToTravel
08-16-2013, 09:39 AM
Couch, you must be an accomplished knitter to be able to do it in a dark theater. I don't knit, but I can only imagine the bizarre creations that would be made after 2 hours in the dark. :D

Creativian, I hear you about the prices of drinks and snacks. I snuck water in last weekend because how can you justify spending so much on a bottle??? It's highway robbery.

sontaikle
08-16-2013, 04:16 PM
I've never snuck in meals, but I'll sneak in bottles of water because there's no water fountain in the theatre and the price at the concession stand is ursury.



Creativian, I hear you about the prices of drinks and snacks. I snuck water in last weekend because how can you justify spending so much on a bottle??? It's highway robbery.

I always sneak in drinks too because I find it ridiculous how much water costs!!

I've also found out that if you bring your own container you CAN get most theaters to fill it up with water or HOT water!! I bring a tea bag and my own coffee cup and the kind concession stand folks never mind giving me some hot water in it. They couldn't just give me a cup because it's inventory, but they are totally fine with filling up a cup I provided. With my own tea bag I have a nice, cheap cup of tea to enjoy during the movies :D

GlamourGirl827
08-16-2013, 06:22 PM
Not really a fan of movie snacks, so diet or no diet, I skip it.

Laura705
09-04-2013, 07:09 PM
Over the past several years I gradually shifted from larger sizes of popcorn to the small size, and then I finally decided that the movie theater popcorn smelled a lot better than it tasted and learned to resist the tempting aroma and skip it altogether.

I've smuggled in my own beverages and snacks for quite a while now - bottled water, or sometimes a water bottle with ice and water, or a can of diet soda. Snacks run the gamut from cheese and crackers to nuts to candy. Lately I've taken to trying out the packaged store-bought popcorn - white cheddar, kettlecorn, etc. It might not be the ideal light/healthy snack, but at least I have the nutrition information for exactly what I ate. I have to carry a sizable tote bag for that, but no one ever questions me. If the theater served decent quality popcorn - fresh, with real butter - I might consider buying it, but nope - it tends to be dry, overly salty, and what really needs to be said about that fake butter?

vintagecat
09-04-2013, 09:31 PM
Large popcorn, no faux butter, diet soda or water, mainly water. The popcorn then becomes my dinner. I totally love movie popcorn and rather than being a mindless experience, it's a very long lasting and sensuous eating experience, each kernel being slightly different in texture and salty in flavor. I savor it. I'm a lifelong multi-tasker so I notice each bite.

Wannabeskinny
09-05-2013, 09:26 AM
Movie theater snacks don't exist in my world. I can do without eating for a couple of hours, especially mindless eating. Water is fine, but there's no way I'm paying $15 for popcorn and soda on any planet.

PorkyPiggin
09-05-2013, 01:07 PM
I personally don't like eating when I'm in the movie theater. I also think that eating while watching a movie in the dark is probably the epitome of mindless eating.

This. Theaters are kinda gross anyway. Snacks haven't been part of the moviegoing experience for me since I was a little kid. Also, the term "snacks" is misleading. A popcorn (not sure what size) has more calories & saturated fat than a Big Mac. I used to make that stuff when I was in high school working my summer job. It tastes so good b/c we put sooooooo much oil & sodium in it. Whether you add butter or not, your calories are blown & it is most definitely a splurge.

Bring your own air popped popcorn in a purse or opt for the small.

AwShucks
09-05-2013, 09:39 PM
I never thought about it, but I guess I'm grateful I grew up in a frugal family. We never bought food at the movies, so it's not something that's ingrained in me. Thankfully, I don't have to fight that particular habit!

crispin
09-05-2013, 11:15 PM
When I'd go with my ex, he liked to get soda and popcorn, so we'd share that. When I go with anyone else, I either don't get anything or sneak something in. It's even a ritual with my siblings to stop at a grocery store first to get something more real and tasty (and cheaper!) to bring in.

df180
09-06-2013, 12:47 AM
I don't snack at the movies....... good job, great decision making.

Elladorine
09-06-2013, 04:41 PM
We never bought movie snacks when I was growing up because of the price. It was already expensive to go to the movies period, and I was actually resentful that I could always smell the popcorn but was never allowed to get any. We did sneak in our own soda and candy, but that was the extent of it.

When I was old enough to go to the theater on my own and order popcorn, I most certainly did. Not that I had any idea how many calories those buckets contained (http://www.thedailymeal.com/how-unhealthy-movie-theater-popcorn) back then! :o

More recently I just sneak my own treats in, although we occasionally order a small popcorn to share. :) In the past I've sneaked in anything from candy bars to McDonald's to Subway to my own air-popped popcorn, but lately we try to eat dinner immediately before so we're not looking for munchies after we get seated.